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Access Denied: The Erosion of Freedom on the Internet.

Posted in the database on Wednesday, September 28th, 2005 @ 14:08:37 MST (1770 views)
by Editor    Looking Glass News  

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Access Denied: The Erosion of Freedom on the Internet.

Turn on any computer and a world of information opens. For those who realized that the usual mainstream news outlets were nothing more than a mouthpiece for government propaganda, the Internet became an oasis of free speech and resources. Alternative news sources rose up to provide people with a wider range of information and a deeper understanding of current events. Unreported or under reported global and national news stories and issues became available to masses of people.

For many, the term “credible news source” took on a different meaning, as reporters and average citizens presented facts and political perspectives that were a counter balance to the monopolized conglomerates that were once respectable news agencies. In addition, forums for discussion such as message boards, blogs and chat rooms gained in popularity as “we the people” sought out like minded individuals with whom to share information and focus our own political views.

Communities developed where the sharing of accurate information could take place and the false face of empire could be exposed. Chat rooms became more than places where teenagers discussed the teen idol du jour or housewives exchanged recipes. People from around the world found themselves with the ability to connect, cut through some of the media distortions and omissions, and develop strategies for protest and dissent.

All of this did not take place without the rulers noticing. Nothing worries those with a fascist, imperialist agenda more than the free exchange of ideas. Nothing scares an empire more than common people with power. Information leads to knowledge and knowledge is power and the Internet is the ultimate information delivery system. A global network of people, empowered to become the media threatens the agenda of the ruling class worldwide. It was interested concerned people writing on internet blog sites that broke the stories of both the voting anomalies of the elections of 2000 and 2004 and the uncountable anomalies surrounding the 9-11 attack. However, the people that speak the painful truth about these revelations, who speak of the criminal actions of their own government toward the citizenry, are marginalized and sneered at by the mainstream media. They are called everything from conspiracy theorists to tin foil hat wearing fools.

And so, in recent years, and especially in recent months, actions have taken place, strategies have been developed and policies have been instituted to stem the flow of information through the Internet. Rumors have circulated, some false, others proven true, about agents of disinformation infiltrating web sites, servers and chat rooms. Once popular left leaning forums seemed to veer off course. Unusual service disruptions occured, shutting down what some would consider the more radical voices. Tracking software and hardware is being used to determine who is getting information, what kind and from whom. Stories appear in the mainstream press about changes in government policies which would effect the free flow of information. Threats of physical harm, or even death, the ultimate silencer of speech, are all too common.

The latest speculation concerns a popular message board site, Liberty Forum, which is said to be censoring the posts of its participants. This follows on the heels of apparent self censoring efforts taken at heavily trafficked sites such as DailyKos and Democratic Underground. Self censoring to what end, one must wonder. Is it simply an effort by the web site owners to bring themselves more and more into the mainstream, denying their once liberal editorial mission? Or is it more than that? Is it more insidious? Could it be a yielding to government pressure to stifle the voice of dissent?

Self censorship, although an abhorrent practice for anyone calling themselves progressive, is at last something we can recognize when we see it. Other, more covert, strategies are wide spread and not as obvious.

At the beginning of August, Tom Flocco made a stunning announcement. He was warned by a U.S. Intelligence source that a contract FBI Division 5 operative had compromised his website without his knowledge. He made the decision to immediately move the site to a new server since the site was unstable and experiencing intermittent availability. Flocco, known for his investigative journalism, was effectively shut down. At about the same time, the always controversial and bombastic Alex Jones experienced problems keeping his web site up and running. Accusations of anti semitism are being used, as well, to try to shut down views that oppose the empire. Michel Chossudovsky, whose web site, The Centre for Research on Globalisation, publishes his own writings and the essays of guest authors, has been under atack simply for airing anti zionist opinions. Globalists who seek to sanitize the internet view it as the largest obstacle to their agenda at this point in time. These are all attempts by enemies of the free exchange of ideas to silence those whom they fear. .

Website administrators have felt increasing pressure to reveal the IP addresses of their participants to the FBI. In such cases, these administrators have been the victims of people whose aim it is too purposely incite and make the websites vulnerable to government intrusion. Voxfux.com and flag.blackened.net have both become prey to these tactics. Noncomplance to the government agencies demanding this information is not practical, and they are forced to betray their own values and compromise the privacy of their users. COINTELPRO agents can, at will, cause legal, financial and moral dilemmas for these administrators. The FBI has been given ever broader domestic spying authority. The ACLU warned that the new Patriot Act guidelines would allow the FBI to freely listen in on online chat rooms and read message boards, even if it has no evidence that a crime might be committed. The military has gotten into the act as well, assembling the world's most formidable hacker posse. But, not content to simply compromise existing websites, the military has also established its own websites, run by U.S. military troops trained in "information warfare". These websites, at first glance, appear to be independent news sites. There are also instances of leftist appearing websites that mix information with disinformation, who seem to exist only to discredit the work of other legitimate leftist media outlets

Visit a website deemed to be too far left, type the "wrong" word or series of words in an e-mail, blog or chat forum and you may be considered a radical who warrants monitoring. Planning a protest against the ruling elite could get your web site monitored by the FBI, or worse, you may find your server is seized and your staff arrested. Attempts to stifle the sharing of vital information also take the form of politically motivated filtering of e-mail by corporate net services providers. More information is being retained, and for longer periods of time by Internet Service Providers, to satisfy the demands of governments across the globe. Patents are being granted for hardware and software that can not only let Big Brother know what you read, but where you are.

Go into any Yahoo political lobby chat room on any given night and you will see the the fascists in action. People who are affiliated with the far right will use disruptive tactics to shut down all political discourse.Whether they are benefitting from the patronage doled out by the party in power or are paid outright, it is obvious that they have either been trained by the government, or just as likely, indoctrinated by the right wing media. They have the talking points down pat and the fact that no one wants to hear it does not stop them. Entering into these forums with multiple identities, running computer programs with the goal of denying access to leftist voices, encouraging others to shun those that speak the truth and thus controlling the rooms through subversion are the well known tactics of these "narcs". Even more vile is the sometimes self admitted practice of reporting participants in these chat rooms to local, state and federal authorities. Despite the fact that no laws have been broken, chat room terrorists will use any means neccesary to stop the truth from being discussed. Often a chatter will find that their local internet service provider will have recieved complaints against them, which may result in a disruption of their service. Or they will be told by Yahoo that they are not longer welcome to use the chat rooms. These complaints are filed with malicious intent and are meant simply to harrass. Just this week, a participant in Yahoo voice chat was paid a visit by the FBI. He was evidently "turned in" by a rightist troll who has the sole intent of stopping the dialogue. Still another chatter, only two weeks ago, was told by Yahoo that her account was canceled and that she would have to speak to a government agency to get the full details of why this denial was instituted. The mere threat of being reported to the authorities may be enough for some to restrain their speech or even leave the forum completely. Taking thier cue from the mainstream media talking heads, Yahoo has already effectively limited speech in their chat forum by imposing an 18 second limit on mic time. Intelligent political discourse is virtually impossible when one must limit themselves to brief soundbites.

"Killing the messenger" has been a phrase that was used in a facetious manner. No longer. The rabid representatives of the capitalistic war profiteers would like nothing more than to be able to get away with murder. The wholesale slaughter of journalists in Iraq and the unexplained suicides of others is indicative of this regime - they will kill to keep secrets. In recent weeks, threats of assassination have been recieved by Justin Raimondo (who writes for AntiWar.com), Wayne Madsen (The Wayne Madsen Report), the "operators" of CounterPunch and DissidentVoice, Kurt Nimmo (Another Day in the Empire), and Rafael Renteria, Mike Whitney, Bill Berkowitz, Greg Szymanski, Bill Van Aukenand Greg Felton (all of whom contribute to the website uruknet.info)

These are just a few examples of the ways the Internet has come under attack. This imformation must be disseminated among as many people as possible. Just as shedding light on all the false flag operations of this corrupt regime and their allies serves a purpose to enlighten the masses and make them wiser to the despicable depths they will sink to for power and profit ...just as the airing of "rumors" of possible future operations which endanger the lives of the people of the planet may stop the evil actions of the oppressors...these attempts to close down the free flow of information among people seeking justice and peace for all the citizens of the world must be brought into the light of day.

These may be the good old days of "free speech" on the internet we see slipping through our fingers. We should pay heed to Dave, the sysadmin from flag.blackened.net who says, "Freedom of speech does not exist, don't try to test it. They will come bust down your door - for real - point a gun to your head and pull the trigger if you refuse to comply."



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